Accuse Tila mayor of reactivating paramilitaries


Members of the Tila ejido set country offices on fire.

Members of the Tila ejido set county offices on fire.

From the Correspondents

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

Tila ejido owners, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle accused municipal president Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez of reactivating the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) “in his service” and for “his ambition to control” the inhabitants of that Chol town.

In a comunicado, the president of the commission and the vigilance council of the Tila ejido place responsibility on Mateo Rey, from the Cruz Palenque community; Mateo Guzmán, of Agua Fría, and Don Pascual, of El Limar, for incentivizing the armed group’s activities.

The death or disappearance of 122 indigenous in Northern Chiapas and the displacement of more than 4 thousand indigenous Chols and Tzetzals in that region between 1995 and 2000 is attributed to Paz y Justicia.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), representative of the families of the victims, asserted that the paramilitary group’s actions responded to the Army’s low-intensity war against the Zapatista insurgency.

In November 1997, members of Paz y Justicia ambushed a pastoral caravan composed of the then Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Samuel Ruiz García; the Bishop coadjutor, Raúl Vera, two catechists and the majordomo of the Señor of Tila Sanctuary, Manuel Pérez. Ruiz García and Vera López were not injured, but three others were.

“As of this date they have remained unpunished and they once again want to impose the (municipal) president by blood and fire; these people live from our taxes, they are aviators that get paid without working, and because of that the public works that the politicians promise are not finished in the communities, because part of the money is used for maintaining these shameful acts,” Tila’s ejido authorities exposed.

They pointed to Regino, from the middle zone of Tila, and to Nicolás, the rural agent of Unión Juárez community in the Tila ejido annex, as being some “spongers and traitors” and placed responsibility on them, together with three cited previously, for what might occur in the ejido.

They denounced that utilizing the Tile municipal government’s communications equipment, these individuals have started to coordinate the paramilitary group (named) Paz y Justicia for the purpose of submitting whoever may be in disagreement with the mayor’s decrees.

The comuneros (who are) adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) expressed their fear of suffering an armed attack, because of which they alerted social and human rights organizations to be on the lookout for what may occur in the Tila ejido, located in the municipal capital.

The ejido owners demand the return of 321 acres that belong to them, according to the 1934 presidential resolution, because 72 years ago the county offices were illegally built on 128 acres of their land.

Last December 16 hundreds ejido members, who asserted having suffered harassment and arbitrariness, held a march that culminated with the burning and destruction of some areas of the county building.

They remembered that in 2008 the agrarian tribunal issued a resolution in favor of the ejido owners, but as it was not executed they went to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), which has not resolved the case, allegedly because it would occasion a social problem, because it would be necessary to relocate practically all of the county seat.

In the comunicado the president of the Tila ejido commission and the vigilance council accused that rural agents from other ejidos that support the country council are provoking them.

“If they want the county council so much that they bring it to their communities, we will expel them because of the constant violations of our individual rights, as well as the violation of protective order number 73/2014, which was won so that the casino of the people would not be destroyed, without the permission of the general assembly of ejido owners,” they stated.

The Tila ejido owners agreed not to undertake any dialogue or negotiations with the governments, “because our lands are not negotiable or for sale and we will continue fighting to avoid any dispossession or against any imposition.

“In Mexico, the three levels of government always create violence, hiding behind the paramilitary groups at their service so that they can say afterwards that it is a conflict between communities,” they concluded.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, December 28, 2015

Re-published with English interpretation by


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